Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Past Due, Day 7, Wednesday- Simple Electrical Work

Today I needed to replace a bathroom fan, so I shut off the power by sticking a screwdriver in the junction box, moving it rapidly back and forth, and letting the breaker take over.

Ahhh... ozone.

Smells like electrical work. Now, if I say so myself, my electrical skills are better than, say, a baboon with serious head trauma. As such, I figured this would be no problem at all. I went upstairs and disconnected all of the wiring from the old fan, carefully labeling where each wire was before.

Just kidding.

I tore through the old stuff like a hyperactive kid tears through presents on Christmas. Not only was everything dismantled, but I had no clue what came from Uncle Marty and what was from Santa.

That is to say, I was screwed.

The old wiring was, to say the least, cryptic. Standard (black and white) color codes? Not present. I had three sets of wires, two lights and three switches.

I made a WAG (wild-assed-guess), put everything together, ran down to the basement and flipped the breaker back on. That lasted about half a second. Went back upstairs, tried again, ran down, and flipped the breaker- pop. On and on, upstairs and downstairs. This went for the better part of an hour.

Finally, by way of increasingly desperate WAGs, I made one light work on one switch. Half way to my new desired result of two lights, two switches. (Helpful tip: if something is hard to accomplish, change the goal.) With this knowledge, I was able to complete the wiring after only an additional hour.

I went downstairs and flipped the breaker. It held. I went to the bathroom and flipped the switch. The radio went off. Breaker tripped again. I left the switch on, went upstairs and unwrapped the wire splices to make it easier to move things around.

I was pretty sure I just had something crossed. So, I flipped the two wires I was positive were wrong and went back to the basement. I flipped the breaker.

Pop. Bastard.

I flipped it again. Pop. And again. Pop. One more time. Pop.

Damn. Back upstairs. More wire moving. Got shocked. Cursed.

Wouldn’t you know it? Tenth time was the charm. Everything was working as I (newly) intended. Yes, the switches were in a different order now, but we only need two, and that is more energy efficient.

I went downstairs, mounted everything, and then went back upstairs to connect the old duct work into the new fan. That’s when I discovered that the exhaust didn’t go OUTSIDE. No, no- that would have made sense. No, this duct ended in the bedroom. Left as it was, I could imagine how this would play out.

Me: Hey Wife, the kids are asleep.
Her: OK, how about hot monkey love?
Me: Yea! (Clapping)
Her: (Sniffs) Um, wait, no. Get away.
Me: What did I do now?
Her: It smells like poop in here.
Me: It’s the bathroom fan! One of the kids….
Her: Yeah, sure. Go to sleep, you stinky bastard.
Me: But, (sniffle) hot monkey love……
Her: Goodnight.

That will not do. I shall not have stinky bathroom fumes for which I am not directly responsible prevent the hot monkey love.

So, I did what any caring husband would do. I disconnected the electrical for the fan.


Fixing it right would require the cutting of holes in the roof. Rain comes in holes in the roof. I fall off the roof. I fear the roof. The roof sucks.

Besides, it will take her years to figure out that the fan doesn’t work. She thinks her fecal matter doesn’t cause olfactory distress (I love thesauruses) and that everyone else’s is too much for ANY fan, so I’ll tell her it is a super-quiet model and everything will be just fine.

She’ll never know.

Total costs: $2,465


At 10:22 PM, Blogger Oregon Coast said...

Vegetarians have poop that smells like a spring field. Duh.

At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kind of like a cow?

At 5:38 PM, Blogger Miss Sassy said...

I seriously had to call someone to brag that my fart actually smelled like a fruit basket.
no, seriously.
I found these really great dried fruits and snacked them from lunch to sundown and was SO AFRAID when I realized the tummy rumble and then the pooty booty had my room smelling like I'd sliced apples on my dresser top.
BEAT THAT, spring field!


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